There is one particular photo frame in my house that has stayed empty for pretty much a year now. I know it sounds like there should be some poetic, symbolic reason for this, but the terribly boring truth is its been on my ‘to do’ list (you know that one that never actually gets done) since it was given to me as a gift for my Birthday in Jan 2013!
It practically taunts me every time I see it on the windowsill of the landing, chastising me for being ‘too busy’ to fill it! Its shameful really, for a photographer, but I suppose its like Doctors and their health, and Builders and their houses…you’re so busy seeing to everyone else’s that you neglect your own!
So I’ve decided 2014 is the year to tidy up all the loose ends and get that particular ‘To Do’ list off my new ‘To Do’ List (which WILL get done!)
In the process of looking for a suitably perfect picture of my daughter, I found myself taking a quick peek at some of the other kids’s photography shoots I’ve done over the last year…(stalling AGAIN!)…but it was quite nostalgic actually. One thing I absolutely love about children’s lifestyle photography (which is all about capturing them going about their business as naturally as possible) is the vast array of expressions you capture in the space of about 10 seconds. In contrast to a couple or an adult’s portrait shoot, very few frames from a kids shoot are the same. Sure they might be standing in the same spot for those 10 seconds (or 5 seconds if you have boys!) but the multitude of facial expressions they’ll display in that time is quite impressive. Its a glimpse into how much is going on inside those busy minds of theirs, and I for one, am grateful for the plethora of images to choose from!
So I thought I’d share a few of my favourites from 2013 plus a few tips for getting great pictures of kids from a Surrey Childrens Lifestyle Photographer.
Shooting a Christening at Silvermere Golf Club in Cobham, I met quite possibly the prettiest and most photogenic little girl to grace this world…she looked just adorable whatever face she pulled!
And so did this little chappie!
A little game of Hide and Seek with Daddy works wonders to get some fantastic, natural expressions. As a Children’s Lifestyle Photographer you have to help the kids relax in your presence and then be discreet enough so they practically forget you’re there!
Bushy Park near Hampton Court Palace was our playground for this gorgeous family, looking for some pictures to use for their Grandad’s 70th Birthday – don’t they all look adorable? Apparently he cried when they gave him his frame full of their images!
Looking this cute in every photo makes it almost impossible to choose a favourite to frame! I love the colourful backdrops which unite the images and give them that consistency , making them perfect to display together in multi-aperture frames or in a Coffee Table Book or Portrait Book – problem solved!
If you’re going to do a shoot at home, having some props or new toys to play with should provide enough novelty factor to distract and intrigue them, allowing enough time to capture some gems of them in the process. A couple of polar bears (I want one) did the trick for this little cutie at her Christmas Card shoot.
Obviously with sleepy newborn babies you don’t have the same array of emotions and facial expressions on display, but varying the colour of the blanket/backdrop you’re working with, using different props like hats or soft toys and of course changing their position gives you a lot of variety – it all just happens a little slower. Every now and then one image just jumps out at you and screams “Frame-Me!”, like the one of this newborn baby girl from Surbiton in Surrey, so we did just that!
And last but not least, don’t overlook the outtakes – as individual images you may think they’re faces only a mother could love and not frame worthy, but they can be full of characterful expressions that you’ll recognise as uniquely your child, and they’re worth remembering too – not just the perfectly pretty ones! Combine them in a sequence with “The Money Shot” and they create an element of humour which I find utterly endearing…and these are the ones I’m going to use to fill that frame, which shall be empty no more!